Of Milwaukee. Passed away September 9, 2023 at the age of 77. Al was the loving husband of Tery. Beloved father of Lindsay (John) Bardes, and Erin (Matthew) Anderson. Proud "Grandpa Big Al" of Malcolm, Lila Rae, Eliot, and Dylan Lina. He was also survived by his sister Carol (Paul) French, and his nephews Kevin and Jared. Al was preceded in death by his parents Melvin and Ann (Leibl) Stehr. He was survived by many cousins and numerous friends. Al was the self-proclaimed patriarch of the Leibl clan and was surrounded by their love and support, especially these past years of poor health.
A native of Whitefish Bay, “Big Al” grew up in a tight knit family. He admired and adored his parents, Mel and Ann, and pranked and tortured his little sister, Carol. Although street-smart, Al never had any scholarly aspirations. Throughout his early years, every report card ended with: "Allen could do so much better if he just applied himself." But Al was busy applying himself to sports - mostly baseball and basketball - honing his offensive skills and playing defense only as needed. Al's approach to school continued when he went to UW-Oshkosh, with partying narrowly edging out sports as his major focus during those formative years.
Al served in the Vietnam War from July 1967 to March 1970 as a proud member of the 225th AVN Company in Phu Hiep. He bonded with his fellow soldiers in battle and in travel.
After returning home from the Army, Al secured his status as a Milwaukee softball legend by pitching for Sammy’s, Libby’s, Al’s Finance and many, many more teams. His superior ball skills gained him notoriety throughout the league, and all the ribs he could eat at Norman’s Restaurant.
A fixture of Milwaukee’s east side, Big Al made friends with every bartender and patron from Brady Street to Hampton Avenue. With a gregarious spirit, a sarcastic sense of humor, and deep pockets, everyone loved to pull up a bar stool next to Big Al as he retold (and retold, and retold) some pretty incredible stories about his life and his travels.
Big Al met the love of his life, Tery, in the summer of 1990. Throughout their courtship, they explored the best of what the world had to offer, traveling to Alaska, Peru, the Caribbean, and Egypt. In 1995, enamored with her big heart, he eagerly (and perhaps foolishly) married Tery and took on full emotional and financial responsibility of her two daughters, Lindsay and Erin. Though his parenting techniques were rather unorthodox, his girls are forever grateful for his constant love, support, and friendship.
Al should be remembered as a generous man, a loyal friend, a dedicated husband, an encouraging father, and a Christmas grinch. He was an all-star basketball player, Formula 1 fan, professional car packer, crossword puzzle expert, and one of the most handsome men in Milwaukee (or so he said).
Big Al was the life of every party. Though he ultimately lost his battle against liver disease, he pushed the limit on life and most certainly “beat the spread.”